Carotid narrowing or blockage is a primary cause of stroke. To help prevent this potentially life-threatening condition, you can undergo a carotid ultrasound procedure with experienced cardiovascular physician Daljit Muttiana, MD, FACC, FSCAI. At Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., in Tomball, Texas, Dr. Muttiana can detect the buildup of fatty plaque in the carotid arteries in your neck and recommend the most effective treatment. To schedule a consultation for a carotid ultrasound, call Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., today or book an appointment online.
Dr. Muttiana uses carotid ultrasound to assess the blood flow in your carotid arteries. The technology uses sound waves to generate images he can analyze on a monitor.
There are two carotid arteries, one on each side of your neck. These large blood vessels go from your heart to your brain, carrying blood rich in oxygen. Narrowing of your carotid arteries reduces the amount of oxygen reaching your brain, and a blockage can lead to stroke.
Narrowing of your arteries — known as atherosclerosis — can happen anywhere in your body if plaque starts to stick to the artery walls. Plaque forms when excess cholesterol in your blood mixes with other particles like calcium to create a sticky residue.
Carotid ultrasound provides Dr. Muttiana with a detailed view of any narrowed areas or blockages so he can treat you before you suffer a stroke.
During a comprehensive cardiovascular consultation, Dr. Muttiana might detect an abnormal sound called bruit coming from your carotid arteries. If so, you should undergo a carotid ultrasound to find the source.
You might also need a carotid ultrasound if you have any risk factors for stroke, such as:
If you experience a transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke), Dr. Muttiana performs a carotid ultrasound to find the cause and treat it before you suffer a full-blown stroke. He can also use this technology to find other abnormalities, such as a hematoma in your carotid arteries.
Carotid ultrasound is also valuable for assessing blood flow following a carotid endarterectomy procedure to remove plaque. If you've undergone stent placement using cardiac catheterization, Dr. Muttiana uses carotid ultrasound to check the stent's position.
The carotid ultrasound machine uses a small handpiece called a transducer to send out high-pitched sound waves — too high for you to hear. It then interprets the echoes the sound waves make as they bounce off your tissues and blood cells.
The procedure is safe, painless, and requires no special preparation. Carotid ultrasound takes around 30 minutes, and apart from receiving any treatment you need, you can return home afterward.
For more information about carotid ultrasound, call Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., today or book an appointment online.